Dubai : In the fourth match of this year’s Indian Premier League, Steve Smith-led Rajasthan Royals faced Chennai Super Kings. Batting first, Rajasthan set up a gigantic target in front of Chennai Super Kings. Sanju Samson performed spectacularly, bagging 74 runs in just 34 runs and the captain, Steve Smith scored 69 runs of 47 balls. With their contribution, Rajasthan set a target of 217 runs in front of Dhoni-led CSK.
CSK tried hard but their efforts weren’t good enough for win. South African cricketer Faf Du Plessis’ 72 runs in 37 balls was the only noted innings from Chennai squad. Rahul Tewatia picked up 3 wickets giving away 37 runs in his 4 for the Royals. Chennai finished their innings scoring 200 runs after MS Dhoni hit 3 sixes in the last over.
After losing the match, Dhoni said that because of a bad start in the 2nd innings, the team couldn’t win the game. “217 on the board, we needed a very good start which was not the case.” He added, “Steve and Samson batted very well. Need to give credit to their bowlers. Once you’ve seen the first innings, you know the length to bowl. Their spinners did well to bowl away from the batsman. Our spinners made the error to bowl too full. If we would’ve maybe restricted them to 200, it would’ve been a good game.”
Dhoni was asked about the fact as to why he came in to bat so late. To which MS said, “I haven’t batted for a long time. 14-day quarantine doesn’t help (why he isn’t batting higher). Also wanted to try different things, give opportunities to Sam. Have the opportunity to try different things. If it doesn’t work, you can always go back to your strengths.”
Stating about Du Plessis’ innings, Mahi said, “Faf adapted very well. Something the batsmen will do, neglect square leg and go more towards long-on and long-off.”
The Man of the Match was given to Sanju Samson for his amazing innings in the top of the order. When asked about his game plan, Samson said, “My game plan is stand and deliver. If it’s in the arc I go for it, and it’s very important to keep the intent to hit the ball if it’s there to be hit.”
Samson also talked about his quarantine life in the pandemic and how he kept working hard. “I’ve been working hard on my fitness, diet and training, and on my strength, because my game relies a lot on power hitting. I think range-hitting is what the game demands in this generation. I had time to work out in these 5 months, and I think I’ve increased that ability.”
Samson is a fine wicket-keeper as well. Gautam Gambhir called him the best wicket-keeper batsman in the country right now. However, Samson said that the decision of him keeping wickets is completely on the coach. “Everyone likes to keep wickets (about Buttler and Uthappa as alternate options) and no one likes running around, but it’s upto the coach. We are happy to bring smiles on the fans’ faces and we hope to continue doing so.”
The winning captain Smith appreciated the hard hitting batsmen who lit up the game. He said, “I think the last surge from Jofra was an incredible bit of hitting. Sanju Samson looked like everything he hit went for a six. MS smacked a few in the end, and Faf got going too, but nice to get a win in front of RRs”.
Speaking about Sanju Samson’s innings, the captain said, “Sanju was incredible, and all I had to do was give him the strike. This should give him a lot of confidence.”
Smith also reminded that he’ll see when Jos Buttler is ready and then take a decision on the opening slot. “Jos is a quality player and we’ll see what happens when he comes back. Hard to take the opening slot away from someone like him.”